Author Topic: DroneCam  (Read 21200 times)

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Offline algae

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DroneCam
« on: March 15, 2012, 10:09:45 pm »
Tired of just waiting for the truth to appear?

The skies above need to be seriously scanned if we want to answer the question, "Are the drones still flying?"



This is an Orion StarShoot AllSky Camera mounted to a short 2x4 clamped to my house. A 400kp sensor with fisheye lens covers most of the sky, and an electronic iris lets it shoot day and night. The included software provides time-lapse video capture, conversion to .WMV format, and upload to an internet site.

Right now it is collecting one frame per second, compressing with MS Video 1, and saving 340MB .AVI files to my hard drive. I will peruse the .AVI files with care, but for your viewing pleasure each file is converted to a 775kB .WMV file and updated continually here:

http://home.comcast.net/~algae/SFBayAreaSky.wmv

Each file contains about 900 frames - a quarter-hour of skywatching compressed into 30 seconds.

Clearly there are limitations to this system. A drone will have to appear nearly directly overhead in order to be unequivocally recognizable. Raindrops on the outer dome obscure the view, and the hummingbirds move alarmingly like one would expect a drone to move. But it's something on-topic I can do while waiting for the truth to appear.

algae
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 10:40:13 pm by algae »

Offline onthefence

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Re: DroneCam
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 11:31:13 pm »
Kudos to you algae!
Thank you for doing this. It is fun to watch also.

The Leviathan

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Re: DroneCam
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2012, 02:30:39 am »
This is good, but be prepared for the all is CG crowd and their shadow expert.
L E V I A T H A N

Offline algae

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Re: DroneCam
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2012, 11:15:02 pm »
This is good, but be prepared for the all is CG crowd and their shadow expert.

One anonymous poster could be a hoaxer, but multiple sightings from dozens or hundreds of such cameras would be compelling evidence, don't you think?
I'm not concerned about the doubters. For me, this a personal quest. If drones exist then antigravity is possible. That's what I need to know.

algae

Offline EVS

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Re: DroneCam
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2012, 01:27:02 am »
algae, you have my greatest respect for doing what you do!

You are in my mind doing a tremendous job trying to find the "Drones"!

Antigravity is just an expression...it might be revealed how it works...sure it exists,
we just haven't found out how, as of yet!

Just as almost anything have a counterpart, I'm sure gravity has one too...just look at the
newest in particle physics...new ideas come forward almost every day!

EVS
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 02:29:00 am by EVS »

The Leviathan

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Re: DroneCam
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2012, 01:30:41 pm »
Anti-gravity may have something to do with the negation of the Higgs-Boson Particle. This particle may have been found recently.  Time will tell, but if found it is a game changer. Please continue with your work and much success.
L E V I A T H A N

Offline algae

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Re: DroneCam
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 11:38:47 pm »
DroneCam caught something interesting today, April 3, 2012, at about 6:30AM PDT.


 
An object is seen crossing from North (upper right) to South (lower left) in a sequence of twenty frames. It's not taking a typical Moffett or commercial flight path and doesn't look like an aircraft or bird.

Here is the entire sequence for the curious:
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0001.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0002.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0003.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0004.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0005.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0006.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0007.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0008.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0009.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0010.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0011.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0012.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0013.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0014.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0015.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0016.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0017.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0018.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0019.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630_0020.jpg

Only 450 hours of scanning a tiny fraction of the sky has yielded a suspicious object. I'm encouraged!
algae

(edited links)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 02:48:27 am by algae »

Offline onthefence

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Re: DroneCam
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 02:45:20 pm »
Thank you for that!

Are you able to use software that triggers on image changes, or do you have to pour through all the footage manually?

Offline algae

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Re: DroneCam
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 07:20:20 pm »
Are you able to use software that triggers on image changes, or do you have to pour through all the footage manually?
The provided software includes rudimentary motion detection, intended for capturing meteorite trails, as an alternative to time-lapse, but the threshold setting is touchy. Triggering on wind-blown foliage generates too much uninteresting footage, all at 30 frames/sec. 

Time-lapse seems more reliable. I usually grab four files at a time and review them at half speed. Twelve hours of recording then takes less than an hour to review.  I am learning to recognize familiar objects at this speed, so there is less reason to step through the footage frame by frame.

algae

Offline EVS

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Re: DroneCam
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2012, 10:15:13 pm »
Very interesting, indeed! Why not ask the members here that know of photo forensic capabilities to come forward?

Maybe we can establish what this object is? Maybe it's not a drone, but it would be very nice to have the good people that are here to say their opinion?

Just a suggestion?

Anyway, very good job and effort on your part, I for one will follow your experiment closely in the future! Real good "field work"!

Very much appreciated!

EVS

Offline EVS

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Re: DroneCam
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2012, 10:27:20 pm »
If we all sit back into our armchairs and never actually do anything, then real evidence of the Drones might slip away..

So, any attempt to catch one of these damn things should be obvious!  ;D

I encourage anyone to follow this great attempt to "catch" an uncloaked Drone!

Seriously, all science is based on watching our close environment, if Drones "zip" in and out our hemisphere, be it in time
or in real time, sure this is a way to ensure that it might happen! If we just rely on others, we sure won't find them...

This ability to survey the sky wasn't around in my youth, but we sure thought of the possibility... ;)

EVS
« Last Edit: April 13, 2012, 11:54:41 pm by EVS »

Offline nekitamo

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Re: DroneCam
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2012, 07:17:52 pm »
Hello, friends.

Interesting stuff, algae. I've overlapped / enhanced some of the most promising images and it kind of looks like something is tumbling in the wind:



It should be possible to find out what were the weather conditions like at your location on that day, so if the object's flight path doesn't coincide with the general wind direction I guess we can safely write off kites, balloons, shopping bags, etc. as candidates.

Also, was your recording software still set for 1 frame per second on that day?

Offline algae

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Re: DroneCam
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2012, 07:49:21 pm »
If we all sit back into our armchairs and never actually do anything, then real evidence of the Drones might slip away..

Theoretically, this should improve my chances of catching a drone by 288 times over simply gaping into the sky for five minutes a day, the original definition of "loony" :).


Offline algae

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Re: DroneCam
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2012, 08:30:11 pm »
It should be possible to find out what were the weather conditions like at your location on that day, so if the object's flight path doesn't coincide with the general wind direction I guess we can safely write off kites, balloons, shopping bags, etc. as candidates.

Also, was your recording software still set for 1 frame per second on that day?
The frame rate was indeed 1fps that day. I've posted six seconds (3 minutes realtime) of the original .AVI file which includes the sighting. It's 20Megs.
home.comcast.net/~algae/UFO120403-0630.avi
As you can see, the object crosses the field of view in twenty realtime seconds, while the treetops were hardly stirring.

The weather was typical of early spring; overcast skies, sporadic rainfall, winds to about 20mph.

This could still be an aircraft. There aren't many pixels in play, not enough for my purposes.
algae

Offline nekitamo

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Re: DroneCam
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2012, 01:57:24 pm »
Ok, I did some math with lots of simplifications to make it easier to calculate.

Let's assume that we're interested in only 90 degrees of your camera's field of view. As it's facing straight up into the sky, any central vertical cross-section of this "cone of view" is a 45-90-45 triangle, which we can further divide in half through camera's central axis to get two smaller, but similar isosceles right triangles.

I hope you can see where I'm going with all this, because now the math gets really simple:
- assumption #1: object's speed was 10 m/s = 36kmph  = 22.5 mph
- assumption #2: it flew over camera's FOV (reduced to 90 deg) in 10 seconds

This means that it took 5 seconds for the object to fly over our smaller triangle's top catete, which makes it 10m/s x 5 sec = 50 meters (~165ft) long, and also 50 meters high (because both catetes are of the same length). If this was true for the object in the composite image from my previous post, it would mean there's 10 meter distance between each consecutive frame and the object is only a few meters in diameter.

Basically, what I'm saying here is that it would be possible for an object ~160ft high carried by the ~20mph wind to get in and out of your camera's FOV in approximately 20 seconds - but only if its direction agrees with the general wind direction at the time. As I know neither your location nor the directions in your camera's images, I can't tell if this is the case - so it's your call.

P.S. - there's an interesting physical limit for this kind of calculations: any object higher than 187500 miles traveling through the 90 degree FOV in less than 2 seconds would have to be moving faster than the speed of light. :)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 02:04:30 pm by nekitamo »